I've never been a vain person.
I'm overweight and have been most of my adult life -- so I'm used to people giving me funny looks.
The kind of chemo I'm getting almost always causes people to lose their hair -- all of it. So, while my legs will be nice and smooth, so will my eyebrows and head.
Also, because of the kind of chemo I'm getting, I'll need a port... which is pretty much a permanently installed valve for them to pump chemo into me. It will be up by my collar bone -- not easy to hide with most of my clothes. I'll have it at least until December, maybe longer.
Right now I have one boob and two drainage bulbs under my clothes... so I'm both lop-sided and lumpy. It has taught me a lot -- namely that, while people may look at you funny for a second, if you are ok with it, they will be too. It is clear that there is something wrong with me, but once I smile and act as if nothing is wrong, I don't even get the funny look...
So -- I'm going to be up-front about it. I'm going to tell my students and anybody else who asks that I have breast cancer. After I have my prosthesis, I may ask them to figure out (without touching) which one is real...
The thing is, I didn't do anything to cause myself to get this disease and there is no shame in having it. I have good insurance and people who love and support me. There is no reason to feel sorry for me. Sure, this sucks -- and it isn't as if I wanted to have cancer this summer -- but, the rest of me still works and I'm dealing with it.